Legacy of Phandelver

Session 5 & 6
The heroes victorious!

Our heroes, after taking another hard-earned rest in Phandalin, set out to investigate the city of Thundertree in hopes of finding a valuable emerald necklace they'd learned of from a family of slaves they rescued. They found Thundertree in a sad state. It was a abandoned and burnt out by years of raids courtesy of the Cragmaw tribe. They found the jewelry with little incident and left town, heading now to Cragmaw Castle in hopes of finding their comrade Gundren. Along the way they had a brief encounter with speedy but weak flying monsters and, at last, made it to their destination. 

 

The heroes, as with the Keep, took some time to plan and attempted to quietly examine the crumbling entrance to the building to see what they could see. However, they were spotted and set upon by goblin guards in the doorway and their bow-wielding companions in the towers above them. The fought off the Cragmaw goblins and pressed on into the castle, exploring first a large cathedral that contained a tentacled, beak-mawed Grick that they fought off. They then doubled back  and explored to the north and found a room with an unlocked door. Sorey threw caution to the wind and kicked down the door, only to find that he had awakened four very disgruntled hobgoblins. His weary party barely survived the conflicted and retreated to rest for the evening.

 

The heroes spent just as much time in their camp giving Sorey grief as they did recovering but they were ready the following day and plunged back into Cragmaw. Upon reentering the cathedral, they spotted rubble on the far wall and dug through it to reveal a shrine to a goblin god at which three goblins were worshipping. They quickly took drew their weapons but were just as quickly put down by the party members. From there they moved forward and entered another one of the castle's towers, this time stumbling right into two more hobgoblins, one of which ran off and alerted their boss, King Klohr, to the presence of intruders. The heroes managed to dispatch the guards and then went on to face the king himself. The king stood in the corner by Gundren's unconscious form, sword pointed at his face, and tried to warn the pesky adventurers off. To make matters worse, the massive bugbear was flanked by a Drow woman (later identified as a shapeshifting Doppleganger by Nick) and his equally massive pet wolf. It was a tense standoff that ended with a quick strike from one of the heroes that sent Klohr and his companions into a full battle rage. After a vicious fight and a few mishaps (including Sorey hurling his sword and nicking Bert) the villains were dispatched, and the dwarf freed and healed. Gundren expressed his gratitude and told his new found friends that he wished to head back to Phandalin to recover and then set out to Wave Echo Cave and finish this whole mess.

 

So they set off to face the Black Spider, revealed by Gundren to be a Drow wizard named Nezznar, and find the other Rockseeker brothers. The heroes entered and took a moment to mourn with Gundren as they found the first of his two brothers dead in the cave's entrance, and the moved on. Thanks to a bit of luck and some guidance from Gundren, they very shortly found their way to Nezznar's headquarters, though not before an encounter with ochre jelly that they were able to escape with the help of an ice spell from Eliza. Eliza used her innate affinity for stealth and an invisibility spell from Nick to get a look inside the room where she identified Nezznar himself and his two bugbear body guards, as well as a statue of some sort of deity that was identified by Gundren to be the dwarven god of mining. The statue contained two emeralds in the eye sockets that Eliza managed to quietly steal, but shortly after this feat they were forced to engage Nezznar, who was now flanked by four large spiders as well as his brutish minions. The party engaged the enormous goblinoids first while Nezznar cast his spells. All that commotion alerted another Drow-disguised doppleganger nearby and he and his three bugbear workers joined the fray. Just after this, Nezznar managed to mind control Gundren into defending him, but the spell was broken shortly thereafter as Eliza finished off him in a hail of magic missiles, vanquishing the Drow and his summoned arachinds. Bert cast a command spell on the doppleganger, allowing a frustrated and wounded Nick to level an expertly aimed slash with his rapier and take the monster's head. The party then watched in awe as the last remaining enemy, a bugbear engaged in a fierce duel with Sorey, with Sorey striking the decisive blow, and ending the threat of the Black Spider and his planned abuse of the Fore of Spells forever. 

 

The party explored the room and found a great deal of treasure, including Nezznar's spider staff as well as a map they could not read, and, to Gundren's relief, a room containing his still living but unconscious brother Nundro. The party spent one more night in the ancient cave and then, with the aid of th Rockseekers, explored the rest of Wave Echo Cave, finding it completely abandonded now save for the Forge of Spells itself. Upon entering that legendary room, the party immediately spotted two things: a copper brazier full of brightly glowing green flame, and an enormous, spherical, one-eyed creature guarding it. At sight of the creature, Sorey immediately began to direct his fellows out of the room, but, after a thoroughly non-threatening "hello" sounded in their minds, the party investigated this ancient beholder. The Rockseekers found out that the beholder had been placed here but the original masters of Phandelver Mine and, as the brothers soon realized, was unaware the cave had been lost to the ages. The beholder acknowledged the dwarves as his new masters quite happily and, upon learning of the party's deeds, allowed them to make use of the forge to enhance their of choice of one weapon or their armor. So, the heroes left their new friends to study the mine and headed back to Phandalin to look more into the mysterious map… 

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Sessions 3 & 4
Phandelver and the Redbrands

Our heroes returned triumphant from Cragmaw Keep and took some much needed rest in Phandelver's local inn. Upon waking, our heroes did a bit of exploring and chatting with the locals. The bard found out from the innkeeper that most of the locals wouldn't be of much help due to the Redbrands, a local gang that was terrorizing the town with impunity. The heroes tried appealing to the mayor, but he feared the Redbrands too much, so they talked to their new friend Sildar, who told them a little more about his wizard friend Iarnor. Iarnor had last been seen near Tresendar manor, which just so happened to be the Redbrands' hideout.

 

After dealing with some bloodthirsty Redbrand emissaries, our heroes plunged into the ancient building and dispatched the first few Redbrands. From there they came upon a dark hallway. Bert the dwarf, more than a little inebriated, went first but managed to get the end of the hallway without incident. The others did not. Nick the dragonborn took so much damage, in fact, that he rendered himself unconscious.  Sorey revived him and then tossed Eliza the halfing out of the pit and, with Bert's help, fished their comrades out of the trap. They proceeded through an ancient set of double doors and entered an ancient crypt. No sooner had they entered than they found themselves beset upon by animated skeletons. Nick was once again knocked unconscious, and the party, not in much better shape themselves, decided to take a few hours to rest. 

 

Their wounds and energy restored, they pressed on and dispatched two more Redbrand ruffians and freed a family they'd intended to sell as slaves. The Dendrars thanked the heroes with information: they informed them that the Redbrand boss, Glasstaff, employed bugbears, and then told them of a priceless family heirloom they might be able to find as a reward. The heroes told them to stay put while they cleared the building out and moved further in, finding themselves in a large natural cavern with an equally large crevasse in the floor. The passage was halted by the presence of a one-eyed monstrosity called a nothic. However, the formidable creature's powers failed it and it was dispatched with relatively little effort from the heroes. They moved further in and found themselves outside a common room full of drunk Redbrands. They dawned the capes they stole earlier and disguised Nick as a prisoner and entered. Things seemed dicey at first as the Redbrands pegged them as imposters immediately, but a bit of smooth talking from Sorey convinced the drunk gamblers that they were new recruits. They gained Glasstaff's location and pressed onward, only to find that they'd just missed the crafty wizard. They did, however, find a note identifying him as none other than Iarno, the very man they'd been sent to rescue, and the Iarno was in the employ of the mysterious Black Spider. They then noticed a secret door ajar and, after emptying the room of its valuables, dashed out and caught up to Iarno. Sorey landed a solid tackle, capturing and disarming the wizard. Realizing his defeat, he submitted and gave the party some more key information, including the revelation that the Black Spider is a drow elf. So, armed with new leads, the party handed Iarno over to Sildar and prepared to make their next move…

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The Adventure So Far...
Goblins and bugbears and wolves, oh my!

The first two sessions have been good ones so far, and I wanted to recap for Bekah's benefit since she missed last session due to my being disorganized.

 

So, in the first session, our heroes made their way to Phandalin, a town whose only claim to fame is a legendary dwarven mine known as Phandelver. Recently an entrance into the mine, Wave Echo cave, was unearthed by the three dwarven Rockseeker brothers. One of them, Gundren, called for aid and our heroes responded by agreeing to escort a large cart loaded with supplies. On the way, our heroes are ambushed by goblins. Despite suffering a few grievous wounds, the adventurers slew all but one goblin, who, though direly wounded itself, escaped into the woods. They caught up to it, interrogated it and then gave it a quick death and discussed the information they received. Gundren's trail disappeared into a mountside keep named Cragmaw. Cragmaw, they found out from the goblin, was ruled by a bugbear named Klarg and heavily manned by wolves and goblins. The heroes then bedded down and took care of their wounds.

 

The next day found them cautiously approaching the great cave. After a bit of strategizing, the bard, Nick, used a goblin instrument to try and lure the goblins out, but only succeeded in whipping the wargs into a such a frenzy they broke their chains and charged out. Two of the wolves were defeated with ambush tactics, and the other was baited into the nearby stream by the Paladin Bert, who signaled to the bard. The bard unleashed his thunder breath and dispatched the last of the beasts. They carefully entered the cave and investigated some tell tale growls and grunts to find out from the fighter, Sorey, that they were outside a goblin common room and they were mostly telling tales, though they also seemed to have a captive of some kind. The party once again put together a plan and drew the goblins out and into the stream. Unbeknowsnt to the goblins, Frost the sorceress had frozen a large patch of the stream, causing them fall into a heap and collide into the far cave wall. Thanks to the cave wall and the various heavy, blunt goblin weapons the lot of them ended up knocking themselves out. Our heroes tied them up and put them outside the cave and then freed the goblin's prisoner, Sildar. Sildar is a human soldier and member of Lords' Alliance of Waterdeep who befriended Gundren. He had come with Gundren but they had fallen prey to same ambush our heroes thwarted earlier, leaving him a prisoner to the goblins, and Gundren's fate unknown. After healing and arming Sildar, the party continued upward, where they managed to ambush a goblin standing guard on a bridge. They cleared the subsequent room of a few more goblins and then entered Klarg's throne room. Klarg, his pet wolf Ripper, and his honor guard of hobgoblins launched an attack and, despite a long and vicious battle that left Sildar and a few other members of the part battered and bruised, they emerged victorious. They the looted room, finding a significant amount of currency and, more importantly, a note that gave them a lead on Gundren: apparently he had been taken on the orders of a mysterious being known as the Black Spider. So, with a lead on their friend and in badly in need of some R&R, the party headed back to Phandalin, where they're currently recuperating and taking in the local culture before regrouping…

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Let's Get Started

Work has now slowed back down to just about normal, and the regular spate of parties and general craziness have come and gone (except for New Year's), so, it's time to get this campaign rolling. I want you guys to have your characters at least started by the time we get to our planning meeting, specifically your race and class, and, if you have time, roll up your core stats. As for that meeting…it will probably be easiest for all of us if I create a page on FB for this so we can coordinate a time, date and location. This meeting will be for hammering out a regular time and meeting for the sessions and answering any questions about the game and the campaign in general. We won't be doing any kind of gameplay just yet. So, I will see you guys on FaceBook!

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The Basics

Ok, here's what's going on: since we have so many new players I elected to play it safe and go with the campaign that comes with the official Starter Set. It's relatively short but still has a lot of meat, so if we can get everybody through it alive and still enjoying the game we'll take those characters and put them into a longer, more difficult campaign. We will be using the 5th Edition of the Dungeons & Dragons rules for this campaign. I know most of you have your own copies of the Player's Handbook, but for those who don't, I have a .pdf. Normally I'd upload it to my Google Drive and link it in the forums, but Wizards of the Coast tends to get into a snit about that kind of thing. So, since the one person who doesn't currently have the rules lives in my house, I'll just supply a copy via flash drive. Once the craziness of the holidays settles down we'll have a meeting and hammer out details relating to meetings times and places for sessions. One last nuts and bolts thing to discuss: dice. You can use an app if you like, but part of the fun of a table top RPG is rolling dice. The basic dice you'll need are a d20, d12, d10, d8, d6, and d4. Fortunately, hobby shops and places like Barnes & Noble, where I work, carry sets that have one of each of these dice. They can also be ordered through various online sources, but either way, they're pretty inexpensive and it really gives you a sense of ownership in the game when you have your own set. 

 

Alright, now that that's out of the way, let me give you a brief overview of the campaign. The story surrounds an ancient dwarven mine (hence the title) said to house untold wealth, but that's only where we'll end up. There will be a journey to get there, and therein lies the heart of table top roleplaying games. This journey will begin with our heroes (that's you) making your way to a town called Phandalin. Why are you going there? That, and all the details, are up to you. Character creation is, arguably, the best part of RPGs, and the ground rules (as well as a number of guidelines) will be in your PHB, but…don't take those as gospel. I encourage you to go outside the box and really explore the Forgotten Realms setting for ideas as well as incorporating your own inventions. Just make sure you run custom ideas by me first. However, if it seems like its too much, then I have some story hooks and some pre-made character sheets that can be used.

 

I know this time of the year will be busy for all of us, but I'd like you guys to spend some time working on your characters. The PHB, as I said, will list races, classes, basic rules and a host of other useful stuff, so familiarize yourself with it as well. Try and read up on the Forgotten Realms setting, as well. It's packed with lore and other things that will help in character creation and in understanding the game. Click this link here for a good primer. I'm sure there will be plenty of questions, and that's fine. You can either direct them to me in person, or use the forums here as I've set up a thread in our campaign forums for that express purpose. 

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Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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